The Eiffel Tower's Mystery

The Eiffel Tower was intended to stand for only 20 years past its 1889 debut—experts at the time predicted it would come crashing down before construction was even finished.

The tower is constructed not of the typical steel but of so-called "puddle iron," a popular iron-treatment of the 19th century that involves heating and folding over sheets of iron. It performs totally differently than steel, and so the engineers had to pretty much start from scratch to build an accurate model—they called in materials engineers to reconstruct the long-forgotten puddle iron and perform various tests on it. ... As it turns out, the tower's strength is largely due to that near-forgotten puddle iron—the engineers estimate that the tower will still be standing for at least another two or three centuries.

A dark matter hurricane is crashing into Earth

Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."

Surprising Science
  • A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
  • It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
  • Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
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We are heading for a New Cretaceous, not for a new normal

The climate change we're witnessing is more dramatic than we might think.

Image credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from Greenbelt, MD, USA
Surprising Science

A lazy buzz phrase – 'Is this the new normal?' – has been doing the rounds as extreme climate events have been piling up over the past year. To which the riposte should be: it's worse than that – we're on the road to even more frequent, more extreme events than we saw this year.

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New study reveals what time we burn the most calories

Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.

Photo: Victor Freitas / Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
  • While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
  • Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
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